Monday, February 20, 2012

"Eye of the Tiger!"

Here we go....the moment of truth.....why do I feel like Adrienne watching Rocky get in the ring with Apollo Creed?  As Devon, who is suffering from a sprained ankle after a vicious game of basketball Saturday night, limps my boy into his destiny, I can't help but hearing that ridiculous "Rocky" soundtrack revolve in my mind like a haunting reverie of synthesizer and screaming electric guitar rifs!  The part that sends me into complete palpitations is knowing that Rocky ALWAYS took a genuine butt beating before managing to somehow secure a contract to do just one...more ....sequel.  So, if the dentist happens to be Mr. T, a flashy showman with a bro-fro or a blood thirsty Russian....we are totally screwed.

OK.  We are in the chair and that annoying bright light is full blast in our boy's face!  I am relatively sure that if there were any truth to the stories of people being abducted by UFO's, this would be the face they give as John Q. Alien beams them up.  Side note: yes, that is actually an old program from church service that Galileo is holding.  I guess he thought reviewing some encouraging words from our pastor would ease his troubled soul.  I don't think the Lord grants deliverance from dental procedures on random request....there is a queue.

Seriously?! At this point, I am incredulous at this boy's ability to find sensory addictions in ANY situation!!  The little air blowing thingy, which due to my ignorance of the proper titles for dentistry tools we will call "Air Puff", became an instant hit.  Though originally intended to help blast the remaining saltine craker bits out of the abyss that our dentist casually called a "rather superficial" cavity, Jo realized its potential for hours of pleasure immediately!  "I want air puff, please!", became the anthem for the afternoon.  Poor Doc was powerless to resist the persuasive prowess of a spectrumed up 4 year old!

Here is where there was a momentary pause in the action.  Like the eye of a hurricane there was an eerie peace in the office.  The cavity was cleaned out and ready for resolution. Doc explained that he would simply fill the offensive gap without drilling as he always likes to start young children with the least invasive procedures first and only graduate from there if needed.  I smiled smuggly. "Yeah, right, Doc!", I thought to myself.  "My son has punked you ROYALLY!"  "You don't wanna risk an index nail diggin' any further in there than needed!" Then, like a tiger pouncing on its prey, Doc burst into action taking us all by storm!! 3 minutes, 2 cotton rolls, some filling, a really weird blue light saber that I SWEAR was like Luke Skywalker's and one 4 year old squirming for his LIFE later.....

We will discuss what Mommy has learned from this experience in the sequel, "Rocky XX: Rocky Goes to Vegas"

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"Some Guys Get All the Luck!"

Josiah was different from day one.  I know this is not gonna sit well with the anti-vaccination crew...but I am just being honest.  This is our experience. There was no 180 degree transformation for our Jojo after a shot.  Sometimes, I wish there was because at least there would be someone to point a finger toward. such tragedy.  It would appear that his autism was "hard wired". The lottery had paid out and Josiah was the dreaded 1 out of 110.  Some guys get all the luck, huh?
  I remember telling our pediatrician that I literally had to wake Josiah to eat because he wouldn't do the usual "I'm a newborn so you better stick that milk in my mouth every 2 hours or there will be hell to pay" cry that our oldest daughter had down pat.  When he did eat, he ALWAYS choked.  Yes, I do mean every single time.  It seemed like it took weeks...maybe even months for him to properly coordinate that sucking action.  Pacifiers never interested him.  Not that he didn't want them...he just couldn't seem to hold them in his mouth for very long.  Floor time was not very profitable.  He didn't really try hard to creep.  He always preferred sitting up...or better yet, swinging in his swing for HOURS....he would rather sleep in the swing!  Jo never crawled...he went from an awkward one handed, one footed pull-push right into walking....but he attempted it almost 6 weeks later than his big sister had mastered it and he mastered it at least 6 weeks after that.  Jo never responded to his name.  Jo would lay in his playpen for hours with toys and never touch them.  Jo couldn't eat anything unless it was blended and put in a bottle up until he was over 2 years old.  Jo never played with his sister or called her by name.  Jo never called us Mommy or Daddy.  Jo sat in a corner spinning bottle tops for toys. Jo was trapped in his own mind and needed us to figure out how to free him.

Now Josiah is 4 and will be 5 in May.  The strides have been nothing short of phenomenal.  It took developing the drive to learn how to teach Josiah "how to learn".  And it took the ladies with the know how to make sure that we would not slack off!  That is really what Dawn is about.  Giving parents the power to effect their own change.  Opening access to knowledge and then holding us accountable for that knowledge.  Unless we get up off our Blessed Assurance and do the work, our babies have no chance.  We can hire a new therapist for every challenge our child may have, but unless we back it up by knowing and doing the same if not more with our kids....well what is the point?  THAT is the Dawn.  Waking up and realizing, "It really is up to us...and by God's help, we WILL do it!"  After that, the possibilities are endless.

Friday, February 17, 2012

"It was the best of was the worst of times."

This is a story.  A story of a boy.  A boy... and his autism. (Cue dramatic music "Dun, dun, duuun!")

OK.  So, that really isn't my style.  I can have my major moments of major drama (side eye glance to the Hubby-he betta not say a WORD!) but generally I feel like we have enough stories like that associated with autism out there.  I promise that on this blog you and I will follow the development of a very interesting project spearheaded by a brave little guy we call Jojo.  He has alot of challenges, but the truth is the most challenged person in his story is his mom (that would be ME)!  I am currently the only Instructor Therapist (I.T.)working in The Dawn Program for Autism here in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos.  My supervisor is Ms. Tameika Meadows, M.Ed. (see and she writes all the program curriculum for our little wunderkind whom she has dubbed "Li'l Galileo".  The mantra of this blog is simple, "If I can do it, YOU can do it!"  We hope to encourage our fellow home programmers out there and share the mundane and profound experience of navigating our way through the spectrum.  With that said: LET'S GO!

This is Li'l Galileo:

This is Li'l Galileo in sugar induced euphoria:

This is Li'l Galileo's opinion of sugar induced cavity:

Alrighty then.  The first rule of having a child with autism should be, "Never let a child with sensory integration issues develop a cavity!"  The truth is, I think the first rule is "Never feed them sugar." or "Always double check the molars when brushing." or something like that.  Maybe if I had read those, I would not need the one I made up....hmmm....logging that away for later....
Anyway, I am trying to figure out who dropped the ball on this one.  Was it the I.T. or was it the mom?  No matter which way you slice it, there is a cavernous hole in Jojo's left molar and we need an intervention.  I am already breaking into a cold sweat imagining his reaction to bright lights, needles and the sound of a drill.  For spectrum babies, the world is one big technicolor acid trip! Florescent lights are enough to send my kid into LaLa Land....and now I will have to subject him to an experience at the tender age of 4 which I am CERTAIN will scar him for LIFE! He will be a walking posterboy for preschooler angst! Sigh......why do I feel the need to listen to my "Jagged Little Pill" album? More as it comes, y'all...